SHADOWS FALL - OF ONE BLOOD - CENTURY MEDIA
One thing this relative newcomer Americans are not is 'of one blood.' In fact, the quintet are a distinct example of today's hardcore and metal crossover. While at times the band can sound coarsely rough'n ready as any Euro-HC band (mainly due to the melody employed), the next the band can delve into a distinctly heavy metal tunage complete with excellent lead wok and involvement (see the track Montauk). In fact it shows promise at times. They are obviously comparable at times, but mostly retain their own identity mixing the aforementioned Euro-core sound, pure HM influences as well as some thrash influences. It's not a perfect meeting by any stretch, but there's lots to chew on here and one can see how many camps can find something on this ten tracker to get into. - Ali "The Metallian"
SHADOWS FALL - THE WAR WITHIN - CENTURY MEDIA
Shadows Fall has to be one of metal's most mismarketed bands. It is either that or the band needs better friends. Whichever is the case, the result of tours with such mallcore luminaries as Kittie, Mushroomhead, Chimaira and In Flames and press releases notifying the public of the praise accorded the band by Kerwank, Kerwank America (a.k.a. Revolver) and the ilk has meant that the band is widely believed to be a trendy anti-metal entity. Whereas the truth lies somewhere far away. Shadows Fall's The War Within is a full-blown thrash metal accomplishment bringing together chunky riffing with state of the art guitar playing a la the Amott brothers and varied vocals alternately reminiscent of either Anthrax or Johan Liiva in Arch Enemy. The outstanding production helps the band better showcase the extraordinary guitars, immaculate drumming and the power and the passion. Songs like The Light That Blinds, Enlightened By The Cold and, my personal favourite, Those Who Cannot Speak are everything a metal fan would want in one package. This band is ready for metal prime time should Century Media stop broadcasting quotations from Revolver, Kerrang, MTV and other pariah corporate media and instead focus on introducing Shadows Fall to the thousands upon thousands of metal fans worldwide. - Ali "The Metallian"
SHADOWS FALL - FALLOUT FROM THE WAR - CENTURY MEDIA
One wishes that Century Media would stop promoting Shadows Fall via quotations from magazines like CMJ, Spin or Alternative Press. It casts a troubling light upon a band that deserves much better. It is the ultimate heavy metal stimulus/response. If the said commercial magazines like and cover the band then Shadows Fall must logically blow. How many metal fans make purchases based on commercial media’s recommendations? How many mainstream alternative kids pick up metal albums? Well, the band is off to other adventures with other labels regardless.
The follow-up album to The War Within, with the not so clever title, is a stopgap release meant more as a fun outing for the band as opposed to a full-fledgedly serious album. The disc features several older songs by the band, a couple of B-sides and several cover versions, like Leeway’s Mark Of The Squealer and Only Living Witness’ December. The songs are interesting to hear as is Brian Fair’s almost metal-core-like vocals. The band clearly demonstrates here why it is the closest thing to the mainstream heavy metal has produced. While maintaining an approachable and accessible sound and vocals the entire affair is heavy and metal. Cool moments? The Maiden-influenced solo on This Is My Own (the band’s own tune), a cover of Dangerous Toys’ Teasn’ Pleasn’, featuring Jason McMaster, which is not so strange given how Fair was in a glam cover band once and the double bass and chugging bass guitar all across this album. On the down side, there are several hardcore covers and oddball vocals on this album that reek of mainstream metalcore. That is something the band will get rid of on its future albums. Either way, Shadows Fall is impressive and successful despite its metal sound. - Ali “The Metallian”